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Lessons From Franchise Execs: Michele Henry, CEO and Founder of Face Foundrié

Why this new franchisor believes the challenges of the pandemic helped her become a better business leader.

By Chris LaMorte1851 Franchise Editor
Updated 2:14PM 09/28/21

If anyone knows how to create a successful business, it’s Michele Henry, CEO and founder of Face Foundrié, an expanding Minneapolis-based facial bar franchise.

In 2010, she started an apparel business, with a whopping six bucks in her bank account and an $8,000 loan against her only asset at the time, a broken-down car. 

Eight years later, the business grew to a $25,000,000 operation with zero debt. For her next act, Henry sold her shares in the company and made a pivot to the beauty industry. 

Now, she hopes to have the same success with Face Foundrié, which offers 40-minute, focused facials, along with lash extensions, waxing and a curated collection of skincare items. Currently, she has three corporate-owned stores in the Minneapolis area. She is excited about scaling the brand through franchising in this self-funded and debt-free venture. 

“I love franchising,” Henry said. “I love the model. I love that you can grow quickly. I love that you can bring in franchises, help inspire them and help provide a roadmap to help them be entrepreneurs. Maybe they wouldn’t see that path on their own.”

Things are off to a good start. Since she began franchising in January of 2021, the brand has sold more than 50 locations across the country, including Chicago, Nashville and Houston. 

But that’s not to say it’s been all smooth sailing — Henry was opening this franchise against the backdrop of COVID-19, which had major implications for a close-contact business like facials.

“I was lucky enough to launch franchising during a pandemic, so I learned a lot,” Henry said. 

For instance, she believes the challenge helped her understand the importance of being nimble and being able to pivot within the context of a franchise, where change can be tricky to pull off across an entire system.

“I do credit the pandemic for teaching us some really, really valuable lessons,” Henry said.

Watch the full video interview above, or click here to watch it on YouTube.